ICUSTA was founded in 1993 in the Universidad Santo Tomás in Santiago, Chile, under the impulse of Dr. Gerardo Rocha Vera and with the help of a small group of leaders from other Universities inspired by St. Thomas Aquinas, mainly three prominent Dominican fathers: Abelardo Lobato, O.P., José García Patiño, O.P., and Aníbal Fosbery, O.P.

The six first member universities of ICUSTA were: Universidad del Norte Santo Tomás de Aquino, Tucumán, Argentina; University of St. Thomas, Houston, USA; Universidad Santo Tomás, Bogotá, Colombia; Universidad FASTA, Mar del Plata, Argentina; Pontificia Università San Tommaso d’Aquino, Rome, Italy; and Universidad Santo Tomás, Chile.

firma-ICUSTA-1993ICUSTA agreement signed in 1993

The group decided to expand and hold biennial meetings, beginning in 1995 with the University of St. Thomas, in Houston, Texas, where was hosted the office of the ICUSTA Executive Director until 2016. Now this office is hosted by Universidad Santo Tomás in Chile.

Throughout all these years the original dream of a global thomistic network in higher education has progressively become real. In 2001 Saint John Paul II encouraged the participants in the fifth Biennial in Rome: “Go ahead with these Saint Thomas projects!”. And ICUSTA goes on today, with its current membership of twenty-nine institutions, promoting passion for truth in the service of humanity.

Celebrations of ICUSTA 25th Anniversary took place from the 13th meeting in 2017 to the 14th meeting in 2019, with special events in 2018.

At the Universidad Santo Tomás of Chile, an International Conference on Thomistic Philosophy was held from July 17th – 19th and the Anniversary Ceremony of ICUSTA on July 20th, 2018.

At the Universidade São Tomás de Moçambique, from November 7 to 9, 2018, an International Conference on Thomistic Philosophy and a Graduation Ceremony took place, within the framework of celebrations for ICUSTA’s 25 years.

ICUSTA’s anniversary was celebrated at the Catholic Universities in Valencia and in Avila with Presentations on Volunteering Projects.

With an inspiring meeting in Houston, ICUSTA closed its 25th anniversary celebrations.

Lecture by Lydia Jiménez, President of the Board of the Universidad Católica de Ávila and Member of ICUSTA’s Honor Council, during the Anniversary Ceremony in Chile.
“The Devaluation of Reason: Urgency for Thomistic Thought at the University of the 21st Century”.

The video celebrating the 25 years of ICUSTA can be seen here:

The entire book “ICUSTA 25 Years Promoting a Passion for Truth in the Service of Humanity” can be read here: